America is obsessed with protein, and it’s causing an untold amount of pain, suffering, and premature death. And the sad thing is, it’s all preventable.
Garth Davis, MD is one of the country’s most highly respected and top bariatric surgeons who sees the health consequences of this epidemic every single day, as patient after patient sits across from him in his office wondering how it all went wrong for them. That’s why Dr. Davis decided to write Proteinaholic: How Our Obsession With Meat is Killing Us and What We Can Do About It. He knows the answer and felt a deep sense of personal and professional responsibility to share it with us.
I found this book fascinating as Dr. Davis starts with his own personal story of being a proteinaholic himself, believing that meat, dairy, and eggs were vital for maintaining strength and long-term health. Now, Davis is a competitive Ironman Triathlete in his spare time. He’s traded his steak and eggs for potatoes and vegetables. And he’s thriving! Crushing his personal bests in marathon and triathlon times, Davis is proving the human body runs best on plants.
Dr. Davis has also helped, or is helping, hundreds, if not thousands, of patients avoid going under his surgical knife in their quest to lose those unwanted pounds of theirs. His book is written to help patients accomplish just this, as it packs in clinical study after clinical study of the growing body of evidence showing that ditching our protein addiction is the best thing we can do for our health.
Not only will you lose weight, but also the chronic diseases that come with it by following Davis’s plan of filling your plate with plant-based, whole foods, namely fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Everyone should read and implement the strategies laid out in Proteinaholic to avoid our most common chronic killers in Western cultures.
Proteinaholic – The Breakdown of the Book
I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Davis about his work in Proteinaholic, and found his insight and expertise both life changing and informative. But before we get to the interview, here’s a quick breakdown of his book:
Part I – Garth Davis, Proteinaholic – Find out how Garth went from a 35-year-old proteinaholic with multiple medical conditions to a thriving competitive endurance athlete with no chronic medical problems.
Part II – How We Became Proteinaholics – Learn how proteinaholism started in our Western culture and how diets like Atkins and Paleo are literally killing us from the inside out.
Part III – Death and Disease by Protein – All the chronic diseases (heart disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes, etc.) are discussed at length in this part, revealing how our culture of proteinaholism is feeding the fire when it comes to suffering and dying from these chronic illnesses.
Part IV – The Proteinaholic Recovery Plan – Now that you know why proteinaholism is killing us, learn exactly the steps you need to take to avoid the misery, sickness, and premature death that results from this obsession. Davis gives you his prescription for optimal health, complete with delicious meal plans and recipes.
Proteinaholic Interview with Garth Davis
Dustin: It is clear after reading your book, Proteinaholic, that America has been brainwashed into thinking the more protein the better. What is the best approach you’ve found to open up the minds and hearts of Americans to putting this brainwashing aside once and for all?
GD: My approach has simply been educating people about the science that exists that shows very clearly that we are eating too much. I like to show people how industry tries to confuse the public and show examples of how cultures who do not eat as much protein are actually much healthier.
Dustin: Aside from parenteral nutrition training (i.e. food given to a patient through the IV because they’re too sick to eat), we’ve both had the same amount of official nutrition education during our respective schooling (me in pharmacy school and you in med school), which is… NONE. Do you think this should change and, if so, how?
GD: I think it will be vital to the future of our country for healthcare providers to understand the concept of food as medicine. This needs to start in medical schools and some medical schools have heard the calling. I think medical students need to be taught about nutritional science, but they also need to be taught how to cook. This may sound silly but knowing the science is useless if you cannot transfer that knowledge into practical recommendations for the patient.
Dustin: I’m sure you get this comment from others when they learn of your efforts to get people healthy and reduce or eliminate their need for your services as a physician: “You’re gonna put yourself out of business!” How do you respond to this being a highly respected weight-loss surgeon?
GD: I would LOVE to put myself out of business. I think it is sad that weight loss surgery is growing as our country gets more and more overweight. I feel like my duty as a weight loss expert is to help people avoid becoming my patient. I can always go back to operating on hernias and trauma.
Dustin: What’s your take on protein shakes, including plant-based versions (i.e. pea, rice, hemp, and so forth)?
GD: The RDA for men is 56 gm/day of protein. 46 gm for women. You can EASILY get this from food. Eating more really has no benefit, and for animal protein, may be dangerous. If you are a big time bodybuilder or a serious endurance athlete there are some studies that getting 1gm of protein/lb lean body mass may possibly be beneficial, but I know many plant based athletes, including myself, who do not take additional protein supplements.
Dustin: You talk about the Paleo diet in your book, explaining the dangers and myths of this diet. You talk about how the Paleo diet may help with short-term weight loss, but not long-term health. I’ve heard a lot of Paleo supporters dismiss this fact. It seems to me the best way to prove that any diet works is to put people on the exact diet in question and follow them for several years, documenting the health and weight-loss outcomes from this diet. Is there any studies doing this with the Paleo diet?
GD: None that I know of. Problem with long term studies is that people cannot stick to the diet plans. If the paleo diet was more like the actual diet of cavemen, it might actually be healthy, but no one is gonna eat bark and gathered leaves and berries.
Dustin: How much protein do we really need on a daily basis? And can you put this in perspective by giving us an actual meal or food items to show us how this stacks up with our daily requirements?
GD: The RDA is supposed to be an optimum level of protein, not a minimum. In other words, the studies that were done to determine the amount of protein we should consume came up with a number less than our current RDA. They calculated 2 standard deviation above in order to be certain that the RDA value provided adequate protein to 98% of the country. My simple answer is don’t count protein. It isn’t necessary. Eat a wide a variety of fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, seeds, grains, and you will be fine.
Dustin: What’s your favorite go-to meal?
GD: I love a bowl of brown rice, sweet potato, kale, pico, and black beans all mixed together.
Dustin: Any last words of advice for individuals out there who are overweight and sick?
GD: Decrease your animal protein consumption considerably. You don’t have to be vegan but you have to remove meat from the starring role of every meal. The healthiest cultures in the world eat 80% of their calories or more from plant foods. We only eat 5%. That has to change!
Dustin: Thank you Garth for your time, willingness to share your knowledge, and efforts to keep us all healthy and thriving. Your efforts will undoubtedly help thousands of people desperate for answers to their health and weight loss problems.
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Check out my book, The Empty Medicine Cabinet, to start your journey towards better health. This step-by-step guide leads you through many of today’s common chronic diseases (heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and more), giving you the facts on food versus medication in treating these medical conditions. The book also contains an easy-to-follow guide on how to adopt a whole foods, plant-based diet as a part of an overall lifestyle change, producing the best possible health outcomes for you and your family. Hurry and get your copy today!